What colour temperature LED should you buy?

What do Lumens and Kelvin Ratings on Your LEDs Mean?

If you’ve ever skimmed through the information on the packaging of an LED light, you’re bound to have come across the terms Kelvin and Lumen ratings.

Now as confusing as these terms are, they’re really simple to understand.

In a nutshell, Lumens indicate the brightness of a light source if you look at it, and Kelvin indicates the colour.

Here’s a more detailed answer:

Lumens – The number of lumens indicates how “bright” the light source will be. Generally, the higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the bulb.

Kelvin – Every lamp has a Kelvin rating that indicates the colour temperature of the lamp and therefore the colour of light the lamp with emit. The lower the Kelvin (K) score the redder the lamp will appear and the higher the K value the bluer the light will appear.

The Kelvin ratings range we are concerned about range from 1500K – 7000K.

There are three common terms in use for colour temperatures for lamps: warm white, natural white and cool white.

Warm White is around 2700k.

That’s the colour temperature to recreate a nice warm, relaxing ambient light given off by traditional halogen and incandescent lamp and great for winding down at the end of the day.

Warm white LED bulb Warm White LED Bulb Living Room

Natural White is around 4000k;

this is a more neutral light than warm white and can be very useful for bathrooms, kitchens and work/reading areas.

Natural White LED Lighting  Natural White LED Bedroom

Whilst we still recommend warm white for pretty much all applications, we do have customers who prefer natural white in their homes. It is a VERY subjective and personal choice.

Cool White is around 5000k+.

A blue-ish light that reproduces daylight at noon and is commonly found in hospitals and dental surgeries. We don’t recommend cool white should be used in domestic homes or offices. If you are looking for a brighter whiter light that warm white (2700k) then we highly recommend natural white. It’s much nicer to live with and less harsh on the eyes.

Example of a cool white room

Example of cool white LED

Again, the use of LED lamps which emit cool white light is a personal preference depending on specific needs and application. To give you an idea of what these three temperatures look like, we’ve created a simple guide below.

3 thoughts on “What colour temperature LED should you buy?

  1. This article is incorrect. 5000K is not “bluish” but neutral white. 6500K is ‘bluish’. Unfortunately, there is no standard recognised name for this range of light, so both 5000K and 6500K can be called either ‘cool white’ or ‘daylight’. Personally, I prefer 6500K in my house over ‘warm white’ (2700K) because the former can have an awakening effect, whereas the latter can cause people to become tired. the exception to this rule is in bedrooms, where ‘warm white’ is best suited.

    1. Hi Mr Bateson,

      thank you for your comment, however we must disagree and stand by the informaation in our article. LED’s start to have a blueish tint to them at 4500k.

  2. Optician tells us my wife needs brilliant white LED light (cataracts, glaucoma and now macular degeneration. Advice appreciated on ?????K etc.

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